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The daily life of a medical resident..
a.k.a "It's 2 AM and I'm looking at urine outputs."
Something more light-hearted. 
Mon, May. 17th 2010
Looking back, I see that a significant portion of my entries have dealt with suffering, death and other generally "downer" subjects.

So I'll tell you about Mr. B.

First off, Mr. B cracked me up. He had significant psychological pathology, along with some developmental delay, but his demeanor was as happy and pleasant - not something I routinely count on during my day.

There's a wise quote that counsels Doctors not to take offense at anything a sick man says to us. It's good advice - it reminds us that we frequently see typically kind people in a position where they're in pain, scared and often alone. They say and do things they never would under normal circumstances.

Of course, I'm reminded frequently that the people we deal with are thoroughly unpleasant, strung out on any number of illegal substances and enjoy abusing the hospital perks of a warm, clean bed, free television and food brought to you three times a day.

So I will absolutely take happy-go-lucky any day, even if the first day I met him I nearly documented "Pt's ileus and constipation has resolved, as he has now passed sufficient stool to fingerpaint with." (I ended up with him just passing "stool.")

So yes, Mr. B was covered in his own poo the first time I met him, and still remains one of my favourite patients.

He remembered who came to see him, and would light up when the whole team tromped into his room. He would sing songs, typically at the urging of my upper level resident who found his musical stylings endlessly hilarious.

Did I mention the songs were topical?

He would sing about the cartoons on his television, his "Good poo poo!", and purple popsicles. (The day we restarted his diet to clears).

His "Going Home" song the day of discharge was pretty impressive. I think he borrowed a bit from "Sweet Chariot", actually.

So few of my stories end with a nice, pleasant person going home cured of their illness, but that's exactly how this story ends. Well, with that and a big musical number. :)
Wayne State University Class 2009
Comments 
Thu, May. 20th 2010 (UTC)
I've always admired, Kat, the joy which comes out in your medical writings. More than any other medical blogger I read -- and I read not a few -- it's clear in your writings that you truly love what you do, not as a duty, not as a calling, but for it's own sake. And I admire that very, very much.

If a lot of your stories are "downers" despite that, it's only because your writing, like the best of writing, is a mirror of reality.

Never stop writing, Kat. And never stop believing.

Best,
Mon, May. 31st 2010 (UTC)
That is a nice change, to read of a pleasant ending. But I still appreciate reading about the less pleasant endings, too. I think because they are all stories about you more than anything else.
Sun, Jul. 4th 2010 (UTC)
I'm adding this journal to my friends list :)
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